About Ultimate Youth Recipe Challenge

The Ultimate Youth Recipe Challenge is open to youth in pre-K through high school in Johnson and Wyandotte Counties in Kansas and Cass, Clay, Jackson and Platte counties in Missouri. The contest asks youth to work together with their families to create a nutritious lunch recipe using at least one local ingredient.


An initiative of KC Healthy Kids, the contest is a wonderful opportunity for youth to showcase their originality, buy local produce or use produce grown in their gardens, develop healthy eating habits and spend valuable time with the family in the kitchen. We encourage you to join in the fun!




Key Dates

Contest Begins: Thursday, April 1, 2021

Contest Ends: Friday, April 30th, 2021

Finalist Notified: Friday, May 7th, 2021




The Ultimate Youth Recipe Challenge was created to empower youth and their families to get out into their communities and find local food at farmer’s markets and grocery stores. The contest asks youth to develop their lunch themed recipe including one local or grown ingredient and will be evaluated on:


  • Creativity
  • Healthy attributes
  • Use of fresh, local fruit and/or vegetables
  • Ingredients that are available in Kansas and Missouri
  • Ability to be recreated in a school setting
  • Preferably no grilling, barbecuing or frying
  • Healthier seasoning options (minimal salt and sugar)
  • Quick and easy to prepare


You don’t have to worry about calorie counts, but here’s a handy chart to help you choose healthy ingredients. If your recipe calls for:



Bread or Pasta > Whole Grain

Meat > Low-fat protein like chicken or turkey

Dairy > Low-fat or part-skim

Lots of Salt and/or Sugar > A different idea


Who Can Enter

Grades: Group 1, Pre-K through 8th grade; Group 2, 9th grade - high school

Counties: Cass, Clay, Jackson and Platte in Missouri, and Johnson County and Wyandotte in Kansas.

What to Enter

Participants must submit 3-5 photos meeting the following conditions:

  • Participant attaining local ingredient (With farmer at the market, at store, in garden!)

  • Participant preparing the recipe

  • Participant and prepared recipe

  • Final prepared recipe


How to Enter

Entries must be submitted electronically and should be posted no later than 11:59:59 p.m. on April 30, 2021. Contest Period entries will be accepted April 1 to April  30, 2021.




Entries will be judged based on use of local ingredients, creativity, healthy attributes and ability to be recreated in a school setting. Participants are allowed to submit 3-5 photos.



Technical Requirements

Photos must be in digital format. Photos may not be enhanced with filters, frames, type or other effects. Only minor adjustments such as cropping and/or color correction are acceptable.



The top 3 finalists with the highest scoring recipes will receive:


1st Place: Feature in Feast Magazine

2nd Place: Private cooking lesson with a Kansas City chef

3rd Place:  A culinary gift basket 


Winners will be highlighted on the KC Healthy Kids website.